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Fairfield University Question & Answer

Whether you are a current undergraduate or graduate student, an incoming student, a parent or guardian, faculty member, staff member, or in any way involved in the Fairfield University community, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to remain an integral part of our campus life. Below you will find a host of helpful questions and answers regarding Fairfield’s plans, including important items on services, facilities, and events and programming.

As our community prepares to return to campus life, we will continue to update these FAQs, so please check back regularly for new and updated information.

Spring 2022 Repopulation & Move-In

Regardless of vaccination status, proof of a negative Covid-19 test result will be required 72-hours prior to your return to campus for the spring. The University will accept the results of PCR tests or rapid antigen tests, including at-home tests. Students will receive a survey via their email on January 12 to upload their results which will include a picture for at-home test results.

Students who have tested positive in the last 90 days are exempt from repopulation and surveillance testing, as long as proof of the positive test is on file. The January 7 and 12 survey referenced above will allow students to upload positive results.

Regardless of vaccination status or booster status, all students will be required to participate in repopulation Covid-19 testing during the first week of their return to campus. Unvaccinated individuals will be required to test twice during repopulation testing.

Testing will be held on January 18, January 19, January 20, and January 21, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the RecPlex Field House. Students can schedule an appointment now:

  1. Vaccinated Students Sign-Up
  2. Unvaccinated Students Sign-Up
  3. Employees Sign-Up

Failure to participate in repopulation testing or surveillance testing will result in being restricted and removed from campus. This includes not being allowed to attend classes, access University housing, other campus facilities, and meal/dining outlets. It is the student’s responsibility to be tested each week according to vaccination/booster status. Students that do not test during the University sponsored testing events, will be responsible for obtaining a private test.

Students must sign up to return to campus on Monday, January 17 from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Sign-Up for a Time

Students will be allowed one guest to assist with unloading in the Residence Halls. Students will not have access to campus without uploading proof of a negative test as stated above under Covid-19 testing.

Event Guidelines

During the Spring 2022 repopulation period which will run from January 1 – February 1, 2022, the following event policy will be in place. Throughout this Spring 2022 semester this policy will be reviewed and updated accordingly. Covid-19 protocols are subject to change.

Participation in live events is a central component of the Fairfield University experience. Events build connections between members of our community, elevate the learning experience, and bring livelihood to our university. As we prepare for more in-person experiences, Fairfield University has developed the following recommendations to help inform decisions about events made by University departments, student organizations, individuals, and external entities.

Event organizers are responsible for considering ways to mitigate risk, as much as possible, when planning for in-person gatherings. Organizers are advised that the following simple activities at an event could cause the spread of the virus.

  • Having an indoor event with people closer to each other for more than 15 minutes at a time.
  • Eating Food
  • Talking loudly, singing, laughing.
  • Sharing materials and resources
Organizers should continually assess, based on most recent conditions and guidelines, the suitableness for hosting the event.

Indoor Events:

  • Indoor events with larger than 50 in attendance are prohibited until further notice.
  • Food and beverage should be limited unless essential for the continuity of the event.
  • In general, Fairfield University is recommending all visitors be able to show proof vaccine or be able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a campus visit. The inviting party is responsible for communicating this information to their visitors.
  • Fairfield University has identified increase risk associated with COVID-19 exposure during undergraduate student facing events, gatherings and meetings. If the primary audience is undergraduate students, external visitors must be able to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to coming to campus. The inviting party is responsible for vetting visitors and ensuring compliance.
  • When food and beverage is being served, attendance of the event must be no more than 50% of the capacity of the event space; When food and beverage is not served, attendance of the event must be no more than 75% of the capacity of the event space.
  • Masks must be worn at all times – regardless of vaccination status – when food and beverage is not being consumed.
  • Attendees should be encouraged to stay home if sick or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Attendees should be encouraged to wash hands frequently or use sanitizer if available
  • Outside parties who rent space at Fairfield University for the purpose of their event are encouraged to collect and manage vaccination and testing data.

Outdoor Events:

  • Campus visitors who attend outdoor events will not be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test.

Campus Access:

  • Visitors with a purpose and affiliation will be permitted onto campus, but must provide this information at the entry point to campus.
  • Overnight visitors are not permitted in residential buildings.

General University Procedures

As per recent Town of Fairfield recommendations, all are required to wear a mask inside University facilities. Mask fatigue is not excusable and will not be tolerated. Students who are documented for non-compliance will be referred to the Dean of Students Office and subject to the student conduct process.

Students will need to wear a high-grade mask (two or more layers, similar to the blue medical masks, N95, and others), fit tightly over their nose and mouth, at all times inside, unless in the privacy of their own rooms or while eating. The masks should completely cover and fit to your nose and mouth. Gators, bandanas and vented masks are not allowed.

Students will need to wear a high-grade mask (two or more layers), fit tightly over their nose and mouth, at all times inside, unless in the privacy of their own rooms or while eating. Mask fatigue is not excusable and will not be tolerated. Students who are documented for non-compliance will be referred to the Dean of Students Office and subject to the student conduct process.

Students are encouraged to plan to have “at home tests” as part of their personal belongings this semester.

StagCards will need to be tapped/swiped when entering campus through the North Benson and Barlow Road gates; these will be the only ways to enter/exit campus.

Fairfield University recognizes that the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent surge is impacting community members both personally and professionally. Fairfield offers are variety of support services to community members to support mind, body, and spirit.

Covid-19 Resource Phone Line

Starting on January 18, students with non-urgent questions about Covid-19 protocols should call 203-254-4333 between 10 a.m.-3 p.m. daily.

Campus Ministry

As an integral part of life at the modern, Jesuit Catholic University, Campus Ministry at Fairfield strives to be a home where all – students, faculty, and staff – can engage questions of faith and justice, worship and pray together, and serve communities near and far. Our dedicated staff of campus ministers and chaplains is here to accompany you throughout your journey – spiritual or otherwise - offering hospitality in the welcoming space of the Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Campus Ministry Center on the lower level of the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola, the spiritual home of the Fairfield campus where we invite you to relax in one of our comfortable rooms and enjoy free coffee, tea, and snacks. Designed to feel like a home away from home, the spaces are open to students from 6 a.m.-midnight each day.

Counseling & Psychological Services

Counseling & Psychological Services promotes the mental health and well-being of students by providing personal counseling, educational programs, crisis intervention, and campus community consultation. Students use Counseling & Psychological Services for help in addressing and understanding a wide variety of issues and concerns.

To schedule an appointment, call 203.254.400 ext 2146 or email counseling@fairfield.edu.

Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality

The Murphy Center, much like Campus Ministry, welcomes those seeking to deepen their relationship with God. We offer one-to-one spiritual direction and programming, in the Ignatian tradition, to guide individuals and groups in their journey toward this encounter, as St. Ignatius did, by “finding God in all things.” Our trained spiritual directors will accompany you on this journey for deeper connection and relationship listening for the sacred graces where God is at work in your life. The Murphy Center is located in Dolan House near the townhouses on campus. Just like God in these challenging times, we are sometimes hard to find, but when you know the way you will see how easy it is to find your way back! You will also find that our doors open wide to the student, faculty, staff, parent and alumni community.

Students who have been vaccinated should upload their medical documentation here. Any student that is having difficulty may call the Student Health Center for assistance or email the documentation to health@fairfield.edu and we will upload it.

For faculty and staff who have been vaccinate, please submit proof of vaccination to COVIDHR@fairfield.edu.

All University community members are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated for seasonal influenza (flu) as per CDC guidance. Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever. It will reduce the risk of serious flu illness and help prevent healthcare systems from being overwhelmed treating both patients with flu and patients with Covid-19. If you have not yet received your seasonal flu vaccine, please do so prior to your return to campus.

As you are aware, the University will not be offering isolation or quarantine during the semester. All students have been informed to develop an isolation/quarantine plan prior to coming to campus this fall. In the unfortunate circumstance a student needs to quarantine/isolation, a nurse from the Student Health Center will review the students isolation/quarantine plans. The nurse can provide resources if it is not possible for a student to travel home and/or take public transportation.

The use of Public Transportation is ill advised for individuals in need of quarantine/isolation.

To best protect the health and safety of our employees, Fairfield has made several changes to campus facilities to ensure proper hygiene, education, and workspace well-being:

  • Signage has been installed throughout campus to remind employees of the importance of personal hygiene, social distancing protocols, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and personal protection requirements, as well as resource numbers to call for assistance (e.g., 211 State Covid-19 phone line).
  • Where necessary, we have reconfigured work areas to align with social distancing requirements.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensing stations have been installed throughout all campus buildings to encourage proper personal hygiene.

The University’s facilities department surveyed the heating, cooling, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems of each building on campus to determine air change and ventilation rates, as HVAC systems can help mitigate the spread of viruses by ensuring the proper number of air changes in a space and by introducing the proper amounts of outside air into the space.

Newer buildings such as the Charles F. Dolan School of Business and the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies have the code required air changes and are equipped with direct outside air systems (DOAS) that introduce conditioned (heated, cooled, and dehumidified) and filtered air into the space. Renovated buildings such as renovated Quad Dorms, Canisius Hall, and Donnarumma Hall have the air changes and included the introduction of DOAS units. The remaining campus buildings were evaluated to ensure that the HVAC systems are fully functional and achieving the required air changes as well as the outside air. On a selective basis for facilities with older HVAC systems, the University has introduced bi-polar ionization technology to further enhance the air quality. This technology has proved effective in the past on pathogen reduction, particle reduction and odor reduction.

After completing this comprehensive review of the HVAC systems for all campus buildings, the systems operate as designed and provide adequate air changes as well as the percentage of fresh outside air to maintain healthy environments. The dorms have operable windows and fan coil units that provide appropriate air changes regardless of whether they are air conditioned or not.

Bathrooms in first-year and sophomore-year housing options will receive a thorough cleaning three times per week in addition to typical maintenance and cleaning. Plexiglass barriers have also been installed at sinks and urinals. Bathrooms in townhouses and on-campus apartments will also receive thorough cleaning in addition to being equipped with an array of cleaning supplies.

Testing & Contact Tracing

Unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and booster eligible community members who have not received their booster shot are required to participate in weekly surveillance testing:

  • Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated undergraduates will participate in twice a week testing
  • Unvaccinated or partially employees will participate in weekly testing
  • Booster eligible faculty, staff and students will participate in weekly testing

Testing clinics will be hosted Tuesdays and Fridays at the RecPlex Fieldhouse.

Booster eligible faculty, staff, and students must receive a booster shot to be exempt from weekly surveillance testing. View our Quarantine, Isolation and Testing Protocols chart for more information.

Only booster eligible community members who have obtained a booster vaccination will be exempt from ongoing surveillance testing. All unvaccinated or vaccinated community members who are booster eligible who have not received the booster vaccination, will need to continue at least weekly surveillance testing throughout the semester once re-population testing is completed. Additionally, community members who have tested positive in the last 90 days are exempt from repopulation and surveillance testing, as long as proof of the positive test is on file.

Regardless of vaccination status or booster status, all community members will be required to participate in repopulation Covid-19 testing during the first week of their return to campus. Unvaccinated individuals will be required to test twice during repopulation testing.

Testing will be held on January 18, January 19, January 20, and January 21, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the RecPlex Field House. Students can schedule an appointment now:

  1. Vaccinated Students Sign-Up
  2. Unvaccinated Students Sign-Up
  3. Employees Sign-Up

Failure to participate in repopulation testing or surveillance testing will result in being restricted and removed from campus. This includes not being allowed to attend classes, access University housing, other campus facilities, and meal/dining outlets. It is the student’s responsibility to be tested each week according to vaccination/booster status. Students that do not test during the University sponsored testing events, will be responsible for obtaining a private test.

Yes, students should plan to have “at home tests” as part of their personal belongings this semester. At-home home tests will help facilitate prompt testing for mild symptoms. The Student Health Center will continue to evaluate and test ill students with symptoms suggestive of Covid-19. 

Isolation: Isolation is used to separate people infected with Covid-19 from those who are not infected. Students diagnosed with Covid-19 need to isolate away from others for at least 10 days and until cleared by the Student Health Center staff to return to the campus community.  This includes any vaccinated student with “break- through” infection. Students in isolation need to monitor their symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately. 

Students need to have a personal isolation plan. Students may not isolate in the Residence Halls. Most students will be able to return home and stay in a separate room from other household members and use a separate bathroom, if possible. 

Quarantine: Quarantine for 10 days if you have been in close contact (within six feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has Covid-19, unless you have been fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had Covid-19 unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative. The Student Health Center will assist with this Covid-19 testing requirement. Unvaccinated students in quarantine will need to be cleared by the Student Health Center staff to return to the campus community. 

Students need to have a personal quarantine plan. Students may not quarantine in the University Residence Halls. Most students will be able to return home and stay in a separate room from other household members and use a separate bathroom, if possible.

Throughout the semester, the University will engage in contact tracing by Student Health Center registered nurses. In contact tracing, the Student Health Center Contact Tracer Registered Nurse will interview and work with any student diagnosed with Covid-19 to help them recall everyone with whom they have had close contact during the timeframe while they may have been infectious. The Contact Tracer RN will then warn these exposed individuals (contacts) of their potential exposure and inform them of CDC guidance/campus protocols regarding quarantine. 

Quarantine:

A student identified as a close contact to someone with Covid-19 and who meets the following criteria does NOT need to quarantine:

  • Someone who has Covid-19 illness within the previous three months and
  • Has recovered and
  • Remains without Covid-19 symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath)
  • Vaccinated students that are considered closed contacts do not need to quarantine. They will be required to wear a mask and test between day 3-5.
For Covid-19, a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). An infected person can spread Covid-19 starting from 2 days before they have any symptoms (or, if they are asymptomatic, 2 days before their specimen that tested positive was collected), until they meet the criteria for discontinuing home isolation.

Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms from Covid-19. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from Covid-19 illness. Look for emergency warning signs for Covid-19. If you are showing any of these signs or symptoms, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Call Public Safety at 203-254-4090 or call 911. Notify the operator of your symptoms and that you may have Covid-19.

If feeling sick, students can visit the Student Health Center located in the heart of campus, attached to Jogues hall within the residential quad. In addition to Covid-19 related health concerns, they will provide comprehensive health services and mental health support for eligible students seven days a week. Please note: the Student Health Center has limited services during the summer months. Our registered nurse will be able to conduct a phone consultation and refer students to community health care providers as needed.

Yes, Covid-19 testing is available at the Student Health Center for eligible students with possible Covid-19 symptoms and for students exposed to someone with Covid-19.

In addition to the Broad on-campus test, we will accept results from private Covid-19 PCR or antigen tests. Students who are tested by an outside provider should submit their test results to covidhealth@fairfield.edu or fax to (203) 254-4263.

For University Health Plan participants, the cost of these tests are covered under the University’s medical plan. Private test results only must be submitted to COVIDHR@fairfield.edu.

All individuals who test positive for Covid-19 will need to isolate for five days as recommended by the CDC and the Fairfield Health Department. Following the five-day isolation period, individuals will have strict masking mandates for an additional five days.

Unvaccinated individuals exposed to Covid-19 will need to quarantine for five-days as recommended by the CDC and as endorsed by the CDC and the Fairfield Health Department. Following the five days of quarantine, individuals will have strict masking mandates for an additional five days.

Students in isolation or quarantine need to be cleared by a Student Health Center nurse to return to the campus community.

All students must develop an isolation/quarantine plan that allows for travel to an off-campus quarantine location and does not require the use of public transportation. The University does have emergency quarantine and isolation housing available.

  • Emergency quarantine and isolation housing is defined as short-term use (i.e., less than 24 hours)
    • This housing will remain available:
    • until a student can travel without the use of public transportation to another location to complete their quarantine or isolation period,
    • when a student does not have a suitable location to safely quarantine or isolate per CDC guidelines,
    • or is unable to travel to another location to quarantine or isolate without using public transportation.

As you experienced this fall, faculty are planning for in-person learning experiences. As is the case when students must miss class for medical/health-related reasons, students are responsible for making up missed work and should consult with their instructor(s) on how best continue or make-up coursework.

Fairfield’s Tracking Dashboard includes both those participating in this surveillance testing and all other diagnostic/contact-traced testing. 

Vaccines & Boosters

Fairfield University is strongly encouraging all members of the campus community to get vaccinated or receive a booster vaccination, if booster eligible.

  • Covid-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness and hospitalization; however, public health experts are seeing reduced protection over time against mild to moderate disease.
  • Individuals who have received the booster vaccine have an increased immune response and lower rates of “break-through” infection.
    • Eligibility for a Booster:
      • If more than five months have passed since completing your primary series of the Pfizer vaccine
      • If more than six months have passed since completing your primary series of the Moderna vaccine
      • If more than two months have passed since your Johnson & Johnson vaccination.
  • Booster eligible faculty, staff, and students who are considered fully vaccinated but did not receive a booster vaccination will be required to participate in weekly surveillance testing throughout the semester or until they have received a booster.

Students who have been vaccinated should upload their medical documentation here. Any student that is having difficulty may call the Student Health Center for assistance or email the documentation to health@fairfield.edu and we will upload it.

For faculty and staff who have been vaccinated, please submit proof of vaccination to covidhr@fairfield.edu.

Graduate Students

Please track your symptoms, contact your healthcare provider and/or call the Student Health Center at 203-254-4000 x2241 for guidance.

 

You can find a comprehensive guide to academic and graduate student support services, including information for mental health counseling, health insurance, IT support, the Library, and other services, on the Graduate Student Life page.

Graduate students who complete the testing protocols described above are welcome to use these campus facilities. Online-only students or students in hybrid programs that require them to come to campus just a few times over the semester should (a) contact their Assistant or Associate Dean to confirm their visit; (b) submit a negative Covid-19 PCR or antigen test 72 hours in advance of coming to campus for the first time to covidhealth@fairfield.edu; (c) follow all other protocols in place on campus at the time of the intended visit.

Prospective Students

For updated visit information, please review our Campus Visit Information page. We also offer virtual options. Take a Fairfield Virtual Tour, schedule a virtual information session, or schedule a meeting with an Admission Counselor.

Employees

Work/Life

Employees are EXEMPT from testing if:

  1. They are not coming to campus at all, and/or
  2. They have submitted proof of a positive Covid-19 test taken within 90 days. Please note that vaccinated individuals must continue to test at this time.
  3. If they are vaccinated and received their booster shot. Submit proof of vaccination to COVIDHR@fairfield.edu.

Update question and answer to Should an employee who has been fully vaccinated and boosted notify the University?

Please send a copy of the vaccination and booster record to COVIDHR@fairfield.edu. Once two weeks have passed from the documented date of complete vaccination, the employee will be excused from the University’s ongoing testing requirement. If the employee does not submit documentation of vaccination, continued testing will be required.

Visitors are required to bring and wear face masks or face coverings, unless doing so would be contrary to their health and safety due to a medical condition. If an employee has a visitor on campus, they are responsible for ensuring their visitor’s compliance with PPE requirements.

For any questions regarding the proper use of PPE, please contact Joe Bouchard, Director of Environmental Health & Safety/Fire Marshall, at jmbouchard@fairfield.edu.

The CDC defines ‘immunocompromised’ persons as those considered to have the greatest risk of infection caused by airborne or waterborne microorganisms. If an employee believes they are an immunocompromised individual or at high risk for severe illness from Covid-19, please contact COVIDHR@fairfield.edu to request accommodation now or in the future.

Testing and Vaccination Issues

Unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and community members who have not received their booster shot are required to participate in weekly surveillance testing. Booster eligible faculty, staff, and students must receive a booster shot prior to returning to campus to be exempt from weekly surveillance testing.

Please send a copy of the vaccination and booster record to COVIDHR@fairfield.edu. Once two weeks have passed from the documented date of complete vaccination, the employee will be excused from the University’s ongoing testing requirement.

If the employee does not submit documentation of vaccination, continued testing will be required.

The employee is to report Covid-19 exposures or infection to Human Resources who will then notify the Student Health Center. Either the Student Health Center nurse or our contact tracer nurse will reach out to the identified employee and interview that employee to assess for on-campus exposures. From there, we reach out to the identified close contacts and advise these individuals of the appropriate actions to take and communicate our findings back to Human Resources.

Following CDC protocols, fully vaccinated employees identified as close contacts do not need to quarantine. They do need to continue to mask and monitor for symptoms. They also need to test on day 3-5 after last exposure. We will follow this testing requirement through to assure that the employee did test as directed. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated employees identified as close contacts do need to quarantine.

Regarding contact tracing in the community (i.e. the non-Fairfield University community)—this would fall under the auspices of the Health Department in the town of their residence.

Alumni & Visitors

Visitors with a purpose and affiliation are welcome to campus. Visitors are required to wear masks indoors. Those who will be interacting with residential undergraduate students are asked to have proof of vaccination or negative test within 72 hours.

*These protocols are subject to change at any time.

As per recent Town of Fairfield recommendations, all are required to wear a mask inside University facilities. Community members should wear a mask that has two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric. The masks should completely cover and fit to your nose and mouth. Gators, bandanas and vented masks are not allowed.

Fairfield strongly encourage all guests to be vaccinated. Per recent town of Fairfield guidance, visitors are required to wear masks while visiting campus.

Visitors who will be interacting with residential undergraduate students are asked to have proof of vaccination or negative test within 72 hours.

Stags for Stags gifts support the current needs of students who are financially challenged by providing critical financial aid, physical and mental health care, academic response for online learning, and personalized spiritual guidance.

Visit fairfield.edu/stagsforstags to learn more.

Partnering with the Career Center is another great way to help Stags. You can help launch Fairfield students’ and recent graduates’ careers through the Hire a Stag program. The program encourages alumni and friends to post jobs and internships on Stags4Hire, participate in virtual or in-person events like Career Fairs, Job Mock Interviews, Job Shadow events, and much more.

Learn all of the ways you can assist with students’ careers by visiting the Career Center’s For Alumni page.

You can stay connected with us by visiting fairfield.edu/alumnievents and attending virtual gatherings, checking the Stags Come Home page for updates, or subscribing to receive Fairfield News@ publication.

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